First, their opposition is “a proof of perdition.” The fact that they are opposing the Gospel is proof that they are lost and hell bound, Unless they repent of their sin and trust Christ, their fate is the lake of fire to burn in conscious torment for eternity.
Remember, God has the last laugh. Like someone said, “I read the back of the book and we win.” Our side is the winning side. In the early Roman Empire, a scoffer asked a Christian, “What is your carpenter doing now?” And the Christian replied, “Making a coffin for your emperor.” Their persecution is proof of their doom.
The second thing this verse teaches is, “But to you of salvation, and that from God.” Whereas their opposition proves their lost-ness, it also proves your salvation. The fact that you are out witnessing is evidence that you have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light - it’s “proof” you are saved.
Being in the battle on the Lord’s side really does show which side you are on. So the opposition isn’t supposed to be a discouragement to you, but an assurance of your salvation. It should give you confidence that you are on the right track. So, don’t think of opposition as something dreadful, as though God were punishing you. Instead, it is a privilege to suffer for Christ.
Philippians 1:29-30 teaches:
29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.Do you see this? It says that suffering for Christ’s sake has been “granted” to us. That word, “granted,” is charizo in Greek. It comes from the same root as charis, which means grace. God’s grace is what really brings us the suffering. The suffering is a gift from God. It is a special privilege reserved for God’s choice servants. Therefore, suffering shouldn’t be something that robs us of our joy, but it should almost be considered something that brings us joy. We have been counted worthy, Amen?
But the only way we can make it through our sufferings is because God first gives us faith. See the verse? Philippians 1:29, “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” Faith is given to us first.
Ephesians 2:8 says: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” What is the gift of God? Salvation? Oh, yes. But also, according to the Greek grammar of this verse, so is the faith. God provides us the faith we need. He gives us the faith we need to believe Him for salvation, and He gives us the faith we need to live for Him in spite of suffering and persecution. So there is nothing to be alarmed about when it comes. And believer after believer down through the ages by the multitude has faced their suffering with courage and grace. This is a gift of God to His chosen ones. And if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are a chosen one of His. And as the verse says, what He gives us to do is all “for His sake.” So what a glorious honor He has bestowed on us.
So again, let’s go back to Paul’s motto in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Is that becoming your motto? Your code of conduct? You can live for yourself or you can live for Christ. The choice is yours. But Paul wants to make sure we know the importance of our choices. So he tells us in Philippians 1:27, “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ."